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 【現代生物醫學講座】104/5/22黃榮村講座教授:「When Homunculus and Emotion Step Into the New Science of Mind」

Abstract It seems that the new science of mind has developed a long way from Freudian concept through the neo-Gestalist conception of cognitive psychology then to a popular notion of neural correlates of cognition. There do still exist many unresolved issues related to the foundation of mental operations. Some of them are listed in the following for further discussion:1. Homunculus explanation. Eric Kandel (2012) asked "Why Freud abandoned his biological model of mind?", especially in his preparation of the seminal The Interpretation of Dream (1900). Until today the findings of REM sleep and dreaming account for an automatic and procedural interpretation, however, the mechanism for successful retrieval of meaningful dream contents remain to be answered. Biological model may claim that the activation of REM neural network can redirect its search towards the selected nodes for a meaningful combination in the dream, then a homunculus construct, which is not compatible with the current popular notion of biological materialism. Biological thinking must be incorrect. Similar argument applies equally well to Benjamin Libet’s (2004) paradoxical interpretation of free will. 2. Emotion behind human decision. The fatal consequence of emotion in economic behavior has been well recognized. Animal spirits are suggested as the major dark force that drove the 1930s Great Depression into abyss. This factor is also attributed to explain the 2008 financial collapse and the breakdown of credit markets. However, due to its non-linear and non-quantifiable properties, there still needs a new language and new mathematics on top of the neural studies to make it possible to maximize and to predict. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was first awarded in 1969. Forty-five years passed, 75 awarded. Interestingly, not a single one was ever awarded to the researcher who studied the mechanism of emotion. Does the problem lie in, as Freud already pointed out one hundred years ago, the immaturity of status quo of sciences? Or, is it simply because of the wrong treatment for sticking to the biological way of thinking in the first case, and rationality only in the second case? We will show how these different developments of the new science of mind can explain in what level to the understanding of perceiving on some historically famous paintings. The relative merits of Freudian approach, neo-Gestalist cognitive psychology, and neural interpretation, as well as their difficulties, will be demonstrated.

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